A woman who was kidnapped and sexually abused for 17 days believes suffering a similar ordeal at the hands of her foster family prepared her for the harrowing experience.
Katie Beers was only 9-years-old when John Esposito, a family friend, lured her to his home with a false promise of birthday presents and turned her to a sex slave. Beers was kept in a dungeon specifically built for a child during her almost three weeks in captivity.
According to the Daily Mail, Esposito kept Katie imprisoned in a coffin-sized dungeon buried underneath his garage and hidden with a 200-pound slab of concrete. He used carpeting and linoleum flooring to cover the trapdoor and took extra measures to obscure it with a bookcase.
During an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, Beers, now 34, revealed that she was in complete darkness throughout the horrific ordeal.
She also divulged that even though the police had set up a command post on Esposito’s front lawn, they could not hear her screams because she was buried deep in the ground.
John Esposito, aka Big John, was a prime suspect in Katie’s disappearance. He had told police officers that he had taken the 9-year-old girl to a toy store to get a present for her upcoming birthday when she mysteriously vanished.
The police did not buy his explanation and kept a close watch on him by stationing outside his property. Unfortunately, they did not know that Katie was only a few feet away.
Esposito assaulted Katie on the first day he abducted her, according to ABC News. However, she was able to manipulate him with conversation that she wanted to get married and have children.
“I definitely think that by trying to manipulate him into thinking about the future and things like that, I think that got him a little scared and worried about what the future was going to hold. When I asked him about getting married and having kids, he told me that when I was 18 he would marry me and have children with me.”
Days later, John Esposito confessed to his lawyer and turned himself in.
Katie Beers did not have any idea that her abductor had turned himself in. When police stormed his Long Island residence, she believed that he had brought men to the home to sexually assault her. Esposito’s confession got him 15 years to life.
However, he was never charged with the rape or sexual assault of Katie Beers. He died in 2013.
Katie revealed in her bestselling book, Buried Memories, that another nightmare long before her abduction steeled her for the horrific experience. According to Katie, she started living with her godmother, Linda Inghilleri, at age 2, and as far as she could recall she was sexually abused by her husband from that point.
She was still being abused when she was abducted by the “family friend.”
“I was also physically and emotionally and verbally abused by all adults who were supposed to take care of me as well as neglected. CPS did come to the house to do interviews with me, but it’s difficult to be truthful with CPS workers when they’re interviewing you in the house where the abuse is occurring in the exact room where it was occurring.”
Katie Beers also credits her survival with the “awesome” foster family she was placed with after John Esposito. She is now married with two kids, works in sales, and doubles as an inspirational speaker.
“I hope that one day, after enough survivors have the courage to speak about their abuse, that there will no longer be a ‘stigma’ associated with surviving.”